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’18 OHCE Draws Over 750 For Education, Expo

November 9, 2018 by   - () Leave a Comment

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds saw more than 750 attend its 2018 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo.

The National Association of RV Parks and Campground’s (ARVC) 2018 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE) drew more than 750 to Oklahoma City, Okla., this week, as many campground owners in attendance reported a busy 2018 season.

Located in the heart of the city, the Cox Convention Center was home to educational sessions and more than 110 vendors.

Paul Bambei, president of ARVC, said in his opening speech on Tuesday (Nov. 6) that the association continues to see growth, with the association currently representing more than 3,000 campgrounds and suppliers, and that ARVC officials continue to work on tools that will benefit members, including a new interactive association benefit tool that is set to go live during the first quarter of 2019.

During the annual ARVC Foundation Lunch on Tuesday afternoon, which is designed to raise awareness about the foundation’s role in providing educational opportunities, scholarships and supporting owners who have been hit by a natural disaster, Cyndy Zbierski, executive director of the Northeast Campground Association, was installed as the foundation’s new chair.

Ann Emerson, the foundation’s outgoing chair was recognized with the foundation’s Above & Beyond Award for her three year’s of service, which included the accreditation of the foundation’s educational programming.

“She has left an indelible mark,” noted Zbierski.

Paul Bambei, left, president of ARVC, talks about the benefit of ARVC membership with other campground owners during the conference’s opening general session.

ARVC’s Young Professionals group also held its meeting on Tuesday evening. ARVC has agreed to allow one young professional to sit on the board, the group tabbed Heather Blankenship, owner of the Pigeon Forge/Gatlingburg Jellystone Park, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., as its representative.

The Young Professionals will also have a seat on the foundation’s board. Jaron Starner, manager of Cedar Lake Campground in Dover, Pa., was selected for that role.

Educational sessions during OHCE included topics on succession planning, customer relations, revenue management and park maintenance, among other topics.

Attendees had the chance to earn continuing education credits by attending sessions. ARVC also offered an opportunity for certification in its NFPA 1194 program.

During the conference’s expo more than 110 vendors offered a variety of products to those in attendance and vendor representatives reported strong sales in 2018.

“We are noticing park owners are continuing to upgrade and expand their parks,” said Maggie Linnell, owner of Your Electrical Solutions in Lake Orion, Mich., whose display included a variety of electrical pedestals.

The conference wrapped up on Thursday evening with the association’s annual awards dinner and foundation auction.

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